When I first started maintaining dreadlocks, sometimes you got that client 

that would ask “why are my dread roots so skinny?  I would fix the roots and it would be okay for a bit.  However, a few months later the same problem would come up.  Eventually, I realized that this challenge only happened in certain situations.  I have had a few requests to explain in depth how this happens.

Dreadlocks become skinny for these main reasons:

  • When the dreadlocks were made, the partings were tiny as the size the person wants. Dreadlocks shrink over time as they lock.  They should not be made in the final size wanted.  Allowance must be made for the shrinkage.
  • The dreads were made small to make the hair look fuller.  The client ignored the request to return and have them joined at 3 months. 
  • Partings were too small for the beginning hair length.  The hair is usually long.  The person making them is inexperienced and does not explain the growth phases to the client.  


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  • Dreads are too big and the client started with thick hair on small partings. I find this happens with people having small heads but lots of hair.  Partings are very important in this instance or the dreads will not lay comfortably.
  •  The client likes to make intricate styles with the dreads and leave it over two days.  The weight of other dreads on the strands can weaken it in several areas.
  • Overtwisting the dreads before it has time to strengthen.  You may want to be neat but the hair needs time to grow in.

This list is my findings for those asking “why are my dread roots so skinny?”   Like unlocked hair, it just needs caring and attention.

By Paula Barker, Silkie Locks Hair Design.